Taking Care of Those That Care For Us
Last updated: April 2023
It is important to remember that our caregivers need some caring of their own. As hard as it is to live with a chronic illness like COPD, our caregivers live each and every day with our COPD too.
Fear of losing my husband's support and help
My husband does so much for me from morning to night that it is hard to imagine what I would do without him. This causes its own set of problems because he is willing and able to do for me, and I accept all that he does without exception, even when I know I shouldn’t.
It is a constant worry for me that the day could come when he won’t be here to help me.
What would I do then?
How would I manage on my own?
Who would help me sell my home?
Where would I have to go?
When would I get help?
The loss of independence
Now that my COPD is progressing, I am fully aware that I can’t maintain our home or live on my own. It is frightening to me because I was always very independent, and I never wanted to have to rely on others.
Alas, we don’t always get what we want in this life.
We are both retired. I reluctantly retired due to my COPD. My husband worked in the steel industry for 35 years and yearned for his retirement.
Hubby retired at 55, found another job, and worked another ten years. Time put in, and he earned his retirement years.
Now he has a full-time job taking care of me. His intention was to be waited on in his retirement, but that was not to be.
Encouraging spousal social interaction
He now feels guilty when he goes golfing or out to lunch with the boys. That guilt serves no purpose, and is not fair that he feels it.
He doesn't need to stay at home all the time. In fact, I am on a mission to make sure that he has some social interaction every week.
I am working hard to make this a normal part of our week.
My husband was always a joiner. He played all kinds of sports, depending on the season.
Winter was for bowling. He was part of a baseball team in the spring and summer, and fall was for football. In between, he played cards and did puzzles.
I am encouraging him to join a senior center that is local to us. I won’t join him because he needs to be alone for a few hours a week and not be worried about me.
My job is to a more independent and to allow him to go and enjoy himself so that as my illness progresses, he will have an outlet.
Where do you stand with your COPD?